Directed by Jia Zhangke

Directed by Jia Zhangke

9 Episodes

Among the greatest filmmakers working today, Chinese master Jia Zhangke is the foremost chronicler of the vast changes that have transformed his country over the last half century in its transition from communism to a globalized, increasingly market-based society. Working without state approval on his early underground Hometown Trilogy—XIAO WU, PLATFORM, and UNKNOWN PLEASURES, all set in the province of Shanxi, where he grew up—Jia transitioned to state-sanctioned filmmaking with 2004’s THE WORLD, but his films remain deeply critical of China’s modernization and the disillusionment it has wrought among the country’s youth. Employing rigorously composed long takes, unblinking naturalism, and audacious narrative structures, Jia captures the ironies, ennui, and often surreal metamorphoses of a country suspended between the past and an accelerating future.

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Directed by Jia Zhangke
  • Xiao Wu

    Episode 1

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 1997 • China, Hong Kong
    Starring Wang Hongwei, Hao Hongjian, Zuo Baitao

    The feature debut of visionary director Jia Zhangke announced the arrival of arguably the most important Chinese filmmaker of his generation. Left behind by friends who have taken advantage of the c...

  • Platform

    Episode 2

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2000 • China
    Starring Wang Hongwei, Zhao Tao, Jindong Liang

    One of the first masterpieces of twenty-first century cinema, Jia Zhangke’s sophomore feature is an at once epic and intimate vision of the changing China of the 1980s. Unfolding between 1979 and 1990, PLATFORM...

  • Unknown Pleasures

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2002 • China
    Starring Wu Qiong, Zhao Wei Wei, Zhao Tao

    One of the first great films of the twenty-first century, Jia Zhangke’s third feature (and his first shot on digital) sets an arresting tale of disaffected youth against the backdrop of a changing China. Evoking the...

  • The World

    Episode 4

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2004 • China
    Starring Zhao Tao, Cheng Taishen, Jing Jue

    An at once intimate and expansive exploration of globalization from visionary director Jia Zhangke, THE WORLD takes place in the eponymous theme park on the outskirts of Beijing, where iconic monuments from the Eif...

  • Still Life

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2006 • China
    Starring Zhao Tao, Han Sanming, Wang Hongwei

    Jia Zhangke employs an eloquent hybrid of documentary and fiction to tell the story of those left behind by a rapidly transforming Chinese society. Great changes have come to the town of Fengjie due to the constr...

  • 24 City

    Episode 6

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2008 • China
    Starring Joan Chen, Lü Liping, Zhao Tao

    Founded in 1958 to produce aviation engines, the once prosperous, now abandoned Chengdu Engine Group, known as Factory 420, awaits its destiny. Sold for millions to real estate developers, it will be transformed into ...

  • A Touch of Sin

    Episode 7

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2013 • China
    Starring Jiang Wu, Wang Baoqiang, Zhao Tao

    Inspired by four shocking (and true) events that forced the world’s fastest-growing economy into a period of self-examination, this daring, poetic, and grand-scale work from master director Jia Zhangke focuses on f...

  • Mountains May Depart

    Episode 8

    Directed by Jia Zhangke • 2015 • China
    Starring Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi, Jindong Liang

    Visionary filmmaker Jia Zhangke scales new heights with MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART. Starring the luminous Zhao Tao, the film is both an intimate drama and a decades-spanning epic about how China’s capitalist experiment h...

  • Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang

    Episode 9

    Directed by Walter Salles • 2014 • Brazil, France

    Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles accompanies the prolific Chinese director Jia Zhangke on a walk down memory lane as he revisits his hometown and other locations used in creating his ever-growing body of work. At each stop, they visit Jia’s fami...